Medals for CERN spin-offs

Nine companies whose inventions make use of technologies developed at CERN were honoured at the 35th Salon des Inventions, held in Geneva from 18-22 April. CERN was the Salon's guest of honour.

The CERN 'table' at the 35th Salon des Inventions. This year's Salon included 1000 exhibitions brought by 775 exhibitors from 45 countries.

Those with misgivings about the value of particle physics should take a look at the list of prize winners from the 35th Salon des Inventions, held in Geneva from 18-22 April. Nine of the winning inventions were spin-offs from technologies developed at CERN.

CERN's research and development strategy includes a programme where technologies developed at and for the Laboratory are jointly developed with industries, so that they may be adapted into a commercial product for other uses. These include many different domains of applications such as medical imaging and IT. The following companies won awards at the Salon for inventions from CERN-developed technologies:

PANalytical won a gold medal for their PIXCEL detector, used in material analysis and imaging. It uses a new technology called Medipix2, a spin-off of a CERN technology developed to track individual photons. The technology enables them to produce an image that is practically noise-free.

PXL Industries won a gold medal, as well as the Prix OSEO and Innovation France, for developing the CERN-patented system of testing the airtightness of seals used in vacuum or under high pressure.

Ijspeert Innovative Technologies received a gold medal for its CERN-patented diaphragm system, which can be used to centre unusual shapes inside tubes.

TTA Techtra was awarded a silver metal for the Micro-Chemical-Vias (MCV) prototypes designed and built in collaboration with CERN. The MCV process allows the company to produce printed circuit boards using chemical etching on a production line, resulting in reduced costs and a much shorter production time.

MAAT Gknowledge took a gold medal for MammoGrid, a GRID-based mammogram analysis system to be implemented in the Extremadura region in Spain.

RAYTEST France won a gold medal and the Prix du Ministère Français Chargé de la Recherche for their ClearPetTM small animal PET system, developed with the Crystal Clear Collaboraton of which CERN is a member. ClearPetTM uses new technologies in crystals and electronics to produce a high performance PET scanner that can produce images of live animals for research in testing treatments and on new drugs.

Geodesie Industrielle was awarded a gold medal for their alignment system, developed at CERN for precision alignment of beam line elements during assembly and positioning.

SpinX won a gold medal for its microfluidics system, which allows complex biological experiments to be performed in nanolitre volumes on a larger scale than ever before, for use in fields such as drug discovery, diagnostics, and physics.

The exhibition was held under the patronage of the Swiss Federal Government and of the State and the City of Geneva.